Novaro was a popular glassblower, particularly in the 20th century. He began his work as an apprentice at age 14, and by the time he was 20, he had sharpened his skills to begin working alone. Jean’s products evolved from small animal sculptures bought by tourists to a world-renowned glassblower. He worked his way to hold a Guinness Book of world records accolade for the biggest hand-blown artwork to be made. Novaro’s artworks were recognized worldwide, and his products continue to sell up to date. This glass maestro was known for working alone, which is rare for successful artists. Jean worked with the sole aim of achieving what he had pre-planned for every work, always carrying the picture of what he wanted to craft. This site will educate you on his life and achievements.
He was born in Antibes, France, in 1943 and began working as an apprentice at the Antibes glass studio owned by Eloi Monod and his wife. Under two successful glass artists, Linosky and Lopez, he mastered the skill and preferred to focus on contemporary art rather than traditional practices in glassmaking. At 20, he was already a professional, and 10 years later, he decided to open his glass studio in Biot with the help of his wife. Particularly in the 1980s, he experienced massive success with his glassworks. His lamps, graced with strong art deco, formed a great part of his success as he made the biggest glass-blown artwork and earned a Guinness Book of world records award. Jean Claude lived with his wife, where he grew up, and continued working. He raised his children and tended his animals and pets at his farm, where he also had his glass studio. The studio’s proximity to his home helped him conveniently work with his furnaces and tools. He became the world’s glass maestro. Navaro started from making glass trinkets for tourists to selling his products worldwide.
Rise to glory
Lopez, whom Jean worked under, helped him with technical issues he faced, and from then on, he achieved unprecedented success. His massive success began when an antique dealer bought thirty pieces of his art works. His exhibitions, with unique frames, were a success in Parisian salons as they loved the lamp collections. After settling in Paris for some time, he decided to head back home to Biot. Gifted, Jean Claude Novaro decided to pair his creative expertise with deep research to craft huge glass pieces. He also decided to build the Novaro Gallery inside Biot’s glass factory.
In 1987, he participated in Paris’s Musee des Arts Decoratifs exhibition alongside the finest glass artists. Four of his pieces were selected for the exhibition’s inaugural presentation by the then Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. By this time, Jean Claude Novaro had gained so much fame that various galleries worldwide gained interest in his glasswork. Galleries in countries like Japan, Belgium, the US, and Germany.
Novaro worked alone and attempted new techniques such as hand painting between blown glass layers. He incorporated gold leaf into his glasswork and invented using luminescent components in modern art. The government of France awarded him the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of Arts and Humanities). Some famous people who own some of his products are Bill Cosby, the New England Patriots owners, Robert and Myra Kraft, and Frank and Barbara Sinatra.
In 2015, Jean had planned to introduce a glassblowing school in Biot. He died in 2014, aged 71, before realizing this dream.